"Stare Eyes" ~ Great Horned Owl
(1/640 sec @ F/5.6, ISO 250, 135mm fl, 55-200 Nikkor Tele zoom VR, Bright side light, handheld)
Sorry for the later post today, but here we are! I decided I should post an actual image depicting the main use of any telephoto lens... to get closer! Telephoto lenses are the go to lens when you can't or shouldn't get any closer to your subject physically, but still need that shot that has that wow factor. And what better place to do all that than at the bird exhibition at the local fair grounds...
I try to get out to local community fairs, zoos, and conservation areas frequently. There's always a variety of interesting people, animals, and nature to photograph. And basically my telephoto zoom never leaves my camera for the day. Any number of things may be going on, and if the crowds are out enjoying the weather like I was the day I took the above photo, then your telephoto is a definite must. There's so many times you need to get in close, and simply can't or with this fellow, shouldn't!
This was a demonstration of various birds of prey. And the Great Horned Owl was one of the main attractions that afternoon. As beautiful and quiet as he was, they asked everyone to stay put and behave themselves. Like any photographer worth her salt, I snuck down to the side as close as I could... and let my camera do the rest. I jacked up my ISO a bit even in the bright afternoon light, to ensure I could freeze any of his actions for good detail, and had my auto focus on. I also kept the Vibration Reduction on since I was handholding for the series of photos I was going to take. Standing at least eight feet away, I zoomed in to compose the shot to include his handler, and as I pressed the shutter halfway to meter for the light, my auto focus beeped. No one else took notice, but Mr.Owl suddenly swiveled to stare right at me! I knew I good opportunity when I saw one and got this image before he turned to eat the mouse the handler offered next.
Regardless of the fact I'm no wildlife photographer, my telephoto never leaves my kit. It's useful in so many different situations and applications... and that's the point of quality gear. That it can adapt to many situations. And that it'll get you to adapt to different kinds of photography too.